Himeji Castle stands as the best preserved example of Medieval castle architecture in all of Japan. It stands as a monument not only to the craftsmanship of the builders but also to the Japanese concept of harmony between man and nature. In fact it derives it name White Egret Castle partly from the fact that it appear as a bird ready for flight. The craftsmen, particularly those under Terumasa's reign, were able to transform the basic elements of nature -- stone, wood, and water -- into a refined and elegant structure. The incorporation of a residence and a military compound into a structure of enduring physical beauty suggests that not only is the integration of man and nature advantageous, but it can also be a better way of life.

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